UPDATE: Controversial plans for football supporters' buses 'scrapped' after fierce backlash


Paisley and Renfrewshire North MP Gavin Newlands has hit out at new proposed guidelines on what football supporters' buses can do in Scotland.

A consultation was launched last week by The Traffic Commissioners for Great Britain on plans that would see coaches having to arrive an hour before kick-off and any stops at pubs before games only allowed at premises which serve a "substantial meal" with any alcohol bought.

The commissioner said the proposals are intended to support police in "reducing the risk of disorder" during football matches in Scotland.

However, Mr Newlands described the proposed guidelines as "nothing short of ridiculous".

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The SNP man told The Gazette: "The Traffic Commissioner's recommendations cover all sports supporters travel, but it is clear the measures are designed to target football fans specifically.

"The guidelines are heavy-handed and can go straight in the bin."

The Traffic Commissioner for Scotland said: "It is illegal to carry or consume alcohol on Public Service Vehicles (PSVs) that are travelling to legally designated sporting events1 (that currently only applies to football matches). 

"These draft voluntary guidelines are intended to advise operators on how they can support the police in reducing the risk of disorder in and around football grounds.

"Similar voluntary guidelines for the carriage of football games fans to designated football games have been in place in England and Wales for a number of years.

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"Those voluntary guidelines for England and Wales have recently been updated following a similar consultation. You can find the consultation and summary of responses at www.gov.uk/government/consultations/guidelines-for-taking-passengers-to-sporting-events-in-england-and-wales. They already apply to Scottish-based operators when carrying passengers to games in England or Wales.

"As the operator licensing legislation underpins the safe operation of PSVs across Great Britain, the Senior Traffic Commissioner for Great Britain launched this open consultation to seek views, particularly from PSV operators, on whether a consistent approach would be appropriate across the whole of Great Britain.

"At the conclusion of the consultation, the STC will take all views into account and will consider the appropriate course of action. People are encouraged to respond to the consultation with their concerns, thoughts or constructive suggestions on how to best advise Scottish operators."

To take part in the consultation, visit bit.ly/3Rbe9M0.